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Just In Time For U.S. Default, U.S. Recession Gets Much Worse

Uhh ...While the Republicans try to force a default of the American Nation with such tactics as “scholarship grants are for communists,” the Democrats are engaged in an exciting game of catch-up. “Oh,” Obama might say, looking thoughtfully at his hands, “Pell Grants are communist? Well then, I offer a compromise of shutting down Medicare and turning our National Parks into private endangered-species hunting camps run by Ted Nugent. What else can we do?” Meanwhile, the U.S. Economy is rolling along — rolling down, fast. Turns out the 2008-2009 recession was far worse than economists could comprehend at the time, even though it was very clear to actual working people that we had plunged into a long and perhaps permanent downturn. And while economists are still pretending the “recovery” is something real and not just more double-your-money fun for America’s millionaires and billionaires, they’re finally admitting that once they fudge their numbers another percent, we’re actually already in a second recession.

Reuters has this happy report:

The report also showed the current slowdown began earlier and has been deeper than previously thought, with growth in the first quarter advancing at only a 0.4 percent annual pace.

The data indicated the economy began slowing in the fourth quarter of last year before high gasoline prices and supply chain disruptions from Japan’s earthquake had hit, suggesting the weakness is more fundamental and less temporary than economists had believed.

So, uh, things are going to get a lot worse, and they were worse than we previously thought, and this whole Default/No Government Spending thing is probably going to reduce most Americans to eating each other’s poop. [Reuters]

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  1. Barb

    "….this whole Default/No Government Spending thing is probably going to reduce most Americans to eating each other’s poop.'
    Looks like the teabaggers started early. They are all full of shit.

    1. Rotundo_

      The Japanese already figured out how to produce fecesburgers, with all the demand for cheap food I'm figuring the dollar menu at Mickey D's will feature a strong poop component soon, if it doesn't already.

    2. freakishlywrong

      Two. Two upfisty for you. You managed to thread the famous Wonkett poop meme and double it back to truth telling about 'baggers. Skillz.

    3. James Michael Curley

      So what happens if I loose two digits in my worth today due to the GOB (Great Orange Boner) idiotcy?

    1. FidoMcCokefiend

      But a witch ain't one of them. I mean really, can you imagine if O'Donnell had been elected?

      1. GOPCrusher

        Michele Bachmann was bad enough. She has been running around Iowa for the last few days, telling anyone that will listen that she will not vote for anything. Republiklan or Democratic. Because they all have the words "Raise the debt ceiling" in it.
        She honestly believes, that if the U.S. does not raise the debt ceiling, absolutely nothing will happen. All the warning by credit rating agencies, economists, the FED, the stock market, etc. are just a ploy by President Obama to raise taxes and spend more money.

    2. Swampgas_Man

      All the fun of Bread 'N' Circuses, without the bread. And the "Circus" is a half-dead lion, also.

  2. lochnessmonster

    So he said to me "Cheer up, things could be worse". So cheered up and sure enough, things got worse!

  3. Goonemeritus

    Don’t worry now that the House has flipped Republican I think we can all agree the economy is sure to respond.

    1. user-of-owls

      If we are very lucky, we might get Japan's Lost Decade. If not, we're looking at our very own Década Perdida.

      And that, my friends, is suffering beyond comprehension.

      1. Fukui_sanYesOta

        After the petroleum boom previous to the government of Mexican president José López Portillo (from 1976 to 1982), Mexican government began to rely heavily on export barrels to support the financial needs in the country.

        lolz. exports. we wish.

        edit: can we sell facebook and twatter to the chinese and keep the cash?

        1. user-of-owls

          I have spoken with many survivors, from Argentina, to Bolivia, to Mexico and elsewhere. Their stories would chill your blood; there ten or more years of genuine, diagnosable mass psychosis induced primarily by hyperinflation. It made sensible people to grasp ideas they would normally dismiss as insane.

          One example: A very respected Argentine intellectual explained in all sincerity his plan for how his nation could survive. It was to completely seal off the country, no people or goods coming in or going in or out. Then they would eat all there cows. He was dead serious.

          1. Fukui_sanYesOta

            The spectre of possible hyperinflation is waiting in the wings here. A truly horrific prospect for everyone who doesn't have their cash already stashed in a Cayman's bank account denominated in euros.

            I pray (as much as an atheist can) that I never see it happen in the US.

        2. V572 Hair of Destiny

          We don't have any oil to export, but we could probably sell some barrels. Odd writing in that wiki.

      2. mormos

        this is really scary, because the fed is actually already artificially causing currency inflation. We are in the middle of a recession, and we should be experiencing deflation, and the markets are tending towards deflation of the dollar, but American economists see inflation as universally bad, so the fed is printing money to cause the aforementioned inflation. (and we bitch at china for manipulating their currency…)

    1. user-of-owls

      Can we use Luxembourg as the phony address? I've always had a gripe with them.

      Of course the more sensible approach would be to direct would-be collectors to Afghanistan. Sort of two birds, one stone deal, no?

  4. DahBoner

    "What else can we do?"

    1. Tax breaks for corporations that create jobs (after the jobs are created).

    2. Massive tax increases for corporations that outsource jobs.

    3. Raise taxes on anyone making over $1 million a year.

    4. Eliminate corporate deductions. Flat tax for all corporations–no more freeloaders!

    5. Pull out of all "Free Trade" agreements. Go back to pre-1981 tarrifs. Build America's industrial base.

    6. Make it a felony for any Republican to lie under oath of office.

    1. Fukui_sanYesOta

      Whilst I agree with most of your points,

      5. Pull out of all "Free Trade" agreements. Go back to pre-1981 tarrifs. Build America's industrial base.

      protectionism is bullshit and will knacker the economy even more

      1. DahBoner

        Prior to 1981, The US was the World's Largest Exporter and we had tarrifs, just like every other industrial nation has, all throughout history.

        If being the world's largest exporter is "bullshit", I say it's time we go back to "bullshit" and abandon the "serious" Free Trade…

        …bull shit.

        1. Fukui_sanYesOta

          Prior to 1981, we didn't have Saint Reagan (pbuh) and the modern cult of supply-side. To claim tariffs are the sole protector of American industry is, well, a little daft, imho.

          As a counterexample, may I put forward Germany? Big social safety net, decent healthcare and a fantastic export economy even in these dark days. No tariffs. Why? Because they make products that other countries want, mostly utilizing home-grown expertise from their (state-run) education system.

          edit: ooh, I just looked it up. Germany out-exports the US. Germany.

          1. DahBoner

            "Germany out-exports the US."

            Because Germany has tarrifs to protect their industrial base and hasn't gone down the insane road of "Free Trade"?

            Good point!

          2. Fukui_sanYesOta

            Look, I understand what you're saying. This is a discussion, not an argument. Hell, personally I'd love to see American manufacturing come back. It's just that tariffs don't seem to be the way, imho. Germany has a lot of exports within the EU (I can't find the exact figures just now) which is a total free-trade area.

            You start slapping tariffs on stuff and you fuck the US because other countries will do the same thing. Fuck, look at the damn trade deficit! What, is the idea to hunker down and rebuild steel production or car manufacturing because imports are too expensive? Think about that for a moment, and consider the longer-term world competitiveness implications. As much as anyone hates it, I'll trot out the Global Economy thing. The US isn't an island in a sea of countries.

            We don't fundamentally disagree. I'd love to see US manufacturing come back, but I simply don't see tariffs as a way of achieving that goal.

          3. DahBoner

            "Germany has a lot of exports within the EU (I can't find the exact figures just now) which is a total free-trade area."

            Many US states have "exports" to other US states, which is a "total free trade area".

            However, the facts, as I stated, still stand:

            Every industrial nation all throughout history, including Germany, including a collection of countries called the "EU", has tarrifs to protect their industrial base against cheap imports.

            Every country, including the US before 1981.

            You can't argue against over 200 years of rational trade policy by saying it's "bullshit"…

          4. Fukui_sanYesOta

            You can't argue against over 200 years of rational trade policy by saying it's "bullshit"…

            I did, speciously, then elaborated on it when called.

            Shall we just agree to disagree? It seems the most sensible way to end it.

    2. freakishlywrong

      6. Make it a felony for any Republican to lie under oath of run for office.

      I like mine better.

    3. V572 Hair of Destiny

      You're not thinking about all the tax accountants and lobbyists that will be thrown out of work by your job-destroying program of tax increases. This is why we have to leave these important decisions to those who understand all the nuances — you know: Goldman Sachs.

  5. jus_wonderin

    Hmmmm, maybe I can make a killing in the stock market again when the f'n bottom drops out.

  6. Fukui_sanYesOta

    Hey, I've got a great idea! If the economy is utterly fucked and people are out of work, let's gut any kind of social safety net! That'll work, right?

  7. edgydrifter

    The US economy has turned into a continuous-loop crotch-punch video. Good lulz for anyone with a password to plutocrats.com.

  8. KathrynSane

    You know that feeling when you're on top of a tall building or a bridge or something and as much as you know the fall would hurt/disfigure/kill you, part of you kinda wants to jump just for the hell of it, just to see what happens? That's pretty much how I feel about the debt ceiling.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      You know, just because it says "Cape does not enable wearer to fly," that doesn't mean they've actually tried it. Why, I'll bet if I get a running start and flap my arms really hard…

    2. Doktor Zoom

      "You know that feeling when you're leaning back in a chair, and then you lean back too far and start to fall and just at the last second you catch yourself? I feel like that all the time."

      Steven Wright

      And me, listening to the news.

      1. starfanglednut

        I know. A big part of me wishes we could give the baggers control, watch them ruin the country, and then say, "OK, now will you please, please shut the fuck up and go away while we try to fix things?"

    3. Biel_ze_Bubba

      I think that feeling is supposed to fade as you get closer to adulthood. Too bad the baggers elected a bunch of retards with 12-year-old minds.

  9. BlueMonkeh

    I think I'm now at peace with this. Nothing is ever going to get any better, ever.

    It's good my parents didn't have the interwebs to read back in the 80's when St. Reagan (pbuh) was trying to permanently drive the country into the shitter. They might have been full of despair, or something, instead of just nicotine and alcohol.

  10. MistaEko

    This calls for drastic cuts in government spending. It's not like government spending is the first motherfucking variable in the equation for GDP or anything.

  11. FidoMcCokefiend

    Surely this is due to all those taxes that leftist 0bama raised, right?

    ***you say taxes weren't raised?***

    It's them damn college hippies sucking off the teat of our society!

    1. Mumbletypeg

      re Gil Scott Heron: They played one of my favorite songs of his at the conclusion of the latest True Blood episode — I was totally unprepared for it, I nearly went into mourning for him all over again.

    1. Atlas Frooged

      If only these cretins had the taste of yesteryear's fascists. I hope for your sake these are American flag jumpsuits or XXXXL heather gray tees with eagles and shit all over them, and matching sweatpants.

  12. Ruhe

    The nation is being lead/pushed by a group that actually wants the apocalypse. Ah, it reminds me of the heady days of the early eighties when the clock was perpetually at six till midnight and the guys in charge were secretly entertaining the idea that perhaps a little nuclear armageddon was what the world really needed, just to clean things up a bit with some purifying nucular fire.

      1. V572 Hair of Destiny

        Wow. Remember when we had good political cartoonists in this country, instead of, say, Steve Breen?

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      A bunch of Xtian pro-armageddon loons with their fingers on the nuclear button … what could possibly go wrong?

  13. Rotundo_

    Ah yes, quibbling and pissing about commie PELL grants while the Jenga blocks of our country are a tumbling down. I wonder if it has ever occurred to any of these assholes that if they torpedo the economy much more that any victory they have will be pyrrhic in nature 'cause all the locals are going to be bearing shotguns, pitchforks and torches to the inaugurals when they take office (after the rigged by Diebold "election").

    1. Swampgas_Man

      In the future, inaugurals and all Gummint functions will be held in "gated" communities.

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      The shotgun, pitchfork and torch crowd is precisely the people who will put those assholes in power. And they'll find some ethnic group to blame for all our troubles. (Tell me if this sounds familiar.)

  14. Ducksworthy

    i seem to recall this whole teabag movement starting as the brainchild of some ranting wall street trader. And we all know they have our best interests at heart.

    1. genxr

      Times are good if you're rich, live in a gated community, have a CCW permit, drive an armored car, and have no interest whatsoever in visiting a country with an unfavorable currency exchange rate.

  15. Mumbletypeg

    And while economists are still pretending the “recovery” is something real …they’re finally admitting ..we’re actually already in a second recession.

    What a dry idea idiocracy you math-flogging toadies are!? Your only concern is that you never let em see you sweat the numbers.

  16. baconzgood

    I think we as americans have to sit down and have a serious talk about the staggering unemployment, if the tax cuts are really helping, national default and this recession…..LOOK OVER THERE! A CUTE PUPPY.

    1. Fukui_sanYesOta

      If Milton Friedman were still alive he should be brought to the Jefferson Memorial for people to line up and hoof him in the balls.

  17. fuflans

    well, i know i personally have always wanted to emulate mogadishu's clean spare government.

  18. JoshuaNorton

    Just what we need. A bunch of Bachmann worshipers who can’t tell the difference between Soviet Communism and a Stafford loan telling us what to do.

    1. Fukui_sanYesOta

      Keep doing it. It's knowledge which should be disseminated. Anathema to FOX-watching cretins.

    2. widestanceroman

      Every member of Congress should be forced, on pain of death, to wear this as a t-shirt for the rest of their term.

    3. donner_froh

      Fallows is a straight shooter and his point, that it isn't an an attempt to find who to blame but an intellectual exercise–look at how the deficit was created and think about how to deal with those specific issues–is important.

      But it will be ignored because cutting taxes for the wealthy is what we do now.

  19. user-of-owls

    You know how after some totalitarian dictator dies, those in charge don't announce his death right away? Instead, all the radio stations start playing dirges and the only thing on TV is an endless loop of the leader's great speeches, visits to Tractor Factory #47, and other video homages. Conjuring up the collective essence of the brute for the people to prepare them for the eventual announcement.

    Reading these soul-crushing posts is starting to give me that vibe. So I guess my question is, did Ken Layne slip this mortal coil?

  20. philpjfry

    The worst part of all this is no one will learn anything. When all the things the democrats and other sane people are saying come to pass, the tebaggers won't accept responsibility and actualy admit they were wrong. They will find some way to blame Barry and say, ala Uncle Joe Stalin, "If we had cut more it would have worked." Shameless, kochsucking, arrogant, shortsighted, mean spirited, ignorant, self rightous, evil motherfuckers.

    1. Fukui_sanYesOta

      Señor fry, it's a bit complicated for the electorate to understand. What's happening is an ideological battle over economics, I think – it's Friedman/von Mises vs Keynes. Naturally, that's a bit high-falutin' for most of these fucking asswits in the teabag caucus who got elected on platforms whereby they scream "it's my money!" or "jerbs!", but I believe it's the essence of the ideology. To shorten what could have been a long rant – cuts in government and lowering taxes are Friedman, social safety nets and government stimulus are Keynes.

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      All you need is self-righteous and ignorant … the rest is irrelevant (although it does provide a convenient handle for the demagogues.)

  21. pinkocommi

    Remember, if we are not all homeless, job-less, uninsured, uneducated-because-we-can't-afford-college poors, the communists win.

  22. iburl

    If I have to eat poop, can I eat Rush Limbaugh's? I heard he eats a lot of steak, viagra, and oxycontin.

  23. MinAgain

    And the price of gold just went up again. Although, to my mind, cans of hobo beans would be a better hedge against the coming economic cataclysm.

  24. DemonicRage

    There won't be any second Recession. The Chinese will call in their debts and the US will be broken up and shared like a ripe seasonal berry pie,by the surviving powerful economies of the world. All of this is fortold in Gary Shteyngardt's Very Sad True Love Story, which was marketed as fiction but which is the new Nostradamus, when it comes to accurately predicting what was WRITTEN IN THE STARS.

    1. vulpes82

      China's desperately trying to keep inflation from eating them alive. And if we American Lard-Sacks start buying even less Chinese Wal-Mart crap, they're up shit's creek. Also, as much debt as they own, most of it is actually owned by Americans. It's just fear-mongering that makes everyone pretend they're going to foreclose on us or something.

      (Sorry, but the China stuff just gets me.)

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        China can't afford to have US bonds tank… they'll do whatever it takes (and no more) to prevent it.

  25. HelmutNewton

    The funny (sad) part of all this is that no one even bothers to ask the cursed teabaggers anymore how throwing millions more Americans out of work and engorging the already swollen bank accounts of the ultra-wealthy is going to "create jobs" and "grow the economy".

    1. Ruhe

      I am, luckily I suppose, employed in an industry that serves almost exclusively wealthy clients (no, I'm not a five diamond whore) and I have to say that I don't think they could spend their money any faster even if they had more of it. They're buying shit like crazy, like nothing ever happened or ever will, like it's all good. So, yeah, you can say that lower taxes on the rich stimulates the economy but in the real world the bastards are working their fingers to the bone spending their cash and it isn't helping anyone to get a job.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        They can buy all the shit they want, but they aren't going to buy enough Fords and Chevys to make a difference — and their plasma TVs and iPads are all made in China. The only jobs they create are for maids, chauffeurs, and pool boys.

  26. calibrit

    On the bright side though guys! At least white Republicans will get to rule the crushed and pathetic remnant of what we used to call the US economy again!

    I don't know about you, but that makes me feel heaps better. Sometimes you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, know what I mean?

  27. randcoolcatdaddy

    "On tonight's episode of "I, Obamvius", the Senate devolves into chaos as roaming bands of bandits set the city on fire. Meanwhile, in the Coliseum, most of the citizenry distracts itself with bare-breasted nymphs and bloody displays of combat between gladiators wearing so-called TruckNutz…"

  28. donner_froh

    Given difficulties that many here (including me on some issues) have with the President, he never really had a chance with the economy. The only way the federal government could have cushioned the hammer blows of unemployment, high energy prices and collapse of the housing market would have been to go with a much larger stimulus, simply pump money into the economy to create jobs. The stimulus that was passed–which the President probably thought was all he could get–was much too small.

    1. Fukui_sanYesOta

      As I said in an earlier post to fry which gotten ate by this software, it's a war of ideology, economic ideology.

      You're talking Keynes. They talk Friedman/von Mises. Keynes provably works, and I'd argue that Friedman provably doesn't. Naturally this discussion would be over the head of most of the tabagger caucus, who find it politically beneficial to yell "TOO MANY TAXES" or "BIG GOVERNMENT" or whatever shit is the poo-fling of the day.

      Unfortunately the ultimate directors of the economy, the electorate, are often stupefyingly pig-ignorant fuckwits who listen to rallying calls of blatant nonsense.

  29. cheetojeebus

    I think i'll stay with the paleo diet. Scrapping out skull caps and cracking bones for marrow seems just a tad more appetizing. A sprinkle of cumin, a little black pepper and some nice crunchy sea salt…Plus the chance of ingesting some prion virus that will render me free of any consciousness has it's appeal as well.

  30. gvvt

    !!Meme Alert!! The plutocrats formerly known as "Rich" are now "Job Providers" which is short for "Free-Enterprise Job Providers." In addition: the unavailability of these provided jobs is the result of left-wing desires to raise taxes on America's patriotic FEJPs.

    Pete Sessions (R-NoTaxes)

    1. Ruhe

      Seriously? That sounds a little bit like a new religion doesn't it? Let's try a thought experiment: "We should be grateful for what the Job Providers hath provided us, so no new taxes." Now this: "We should be grateful for Baal hath provided us, so throw your babies in the fire." Yeah, that works.

  31. DashboardBuddha

    I can take some comfort in knowing that I get out of work in 2 hours, I still have a job (banging on a fucking tree right now), my woman is coming down to see me tomorrow, and I have a full bottle of scotch.

    This is my life. It could be worse I guess. It will probably get worse, but I'll kick that republican in the balls when I get there.

  32. Buckminster

    Dopey Rehberg has got to be the biggest piece of poop Montana has ever sent to Washington.

  33. AJWjr.

    After Hillz poked a million cracks into this damned debt ceiling, I thought $arah would come along and just make it collapse of it's own weight.

  34. ttommyunger

    Funny, I remember the Repugs and Tea Baggers running for office on Jobs and the Economy. Don't see that working out for us…

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